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Six tips to make time for an online side business

By Will Stevens - December 9, 2022

Thinking about turning a hobby or a passion into an online side business but don’t know how to make time to dedicate to that extra workload? It’s understandable. With other important commitments like a full-time job, family or schoolwork, it can be challenging to find time to start a side hustle.

You could try getting up earlier or staying up later every day to work on your project. But that can lead to sleep deprivation and burnout so that’s definitely not a feasible or healthy option. Instead, take an honest look at all your activities throughout the day and see if you’re really using your limited time well, or if it could be better spent building the business you’ve always dreamt of.

Ready for some tips?  Let’s look at six things you can do to make time for your online side business without sacrificing your full-time job, your family or other important commitments.

1. Take the plunge now

There are lots of people out there who have a brilliant idea for a successful side business. You may even be one of them. Unfortunately, few actually go on to start their own business. So, what’s keeping them (and you) from going from column A to column B? Action!

You don’t have to read every book out there to start a business, or wait until you feel you have all the knowledge in the world to take that first step. There’s no such thing. In addition, thinking you’re not ready or maybe waiting a little longer until you finish yet another course is actually a form of procrastination. If you’re dealing with that, here are five ways to overcome procrastination and get your business online.

Bottom line, what you do need to do is… something. It can even be a simple and small step like registering a domain name for your new website. So, start with that. Go to 123 Reg, run a search for your perfect domain name, and make it yours.

Need some help? Read these posts to learn everything you need to know about choosing a domain name and what to do next.

2. Audit your current schedule

Take a close look at your current schedule and day to day activities, and try to understand where your time is going, and what activities you can do without.

For example, it’s easy to waste hours every day on social media, Netflix, or reading the news. These activities can take a lot of your valuable time away and you might not even realise just how much. So, try to cut back on these time wasters and instead, invest that time into your side hustle.

That’s why a schedule audit is useful. It allows you to see what you’re spending your time on and where there’s wiggle room to work on your side business. You might also discover that you’re most productive immediately after you wake up, or late at night, so you can maximise that time to work on your side hustle.

3. Schedule small tasks

One of the main reasons we procrastinate is because we feel a task is too complicated or too big to accomplish. So we usually postpone it until we feel we have the energy to tackle it.

A better, more effective way is to split that big task into smaller, easier to accomplish tasks. So, instead of having a task like “write all the content for my website” that can take weeks to finish, you can have a bunch of small tasks that you can accomplish in just an hour a day, like “write the content for the homepage”, “write the content for the About page”, or even “take three great photos of my product or service”. Just make sure you set strict deadlines for each task to keep yourself accountable and motivated.

The reason this strategy works is because it’s easier to accomplish since you can quickly estimate how long it’ll take you to complete a task. Try using tools like Trello or Todoist to create tasks, get organised, and keep track of your time.


You can learn more about these tools and others in this post about the ten best productivity apps for small business owners.

4. Don’t work on time wasters

When you’re working on your own business, it’s easy to feel like everything needs to be perfect – your business plan, your logo, your 10-page website, that product photo. The truth is “done” is better than perfect. You can always come back and rewrite that paragraph of content on your homepage, add another page to your site, or retake that product photo.

Don’t spend more time than you have to on tasks that matter less as you’re getting started. Not that your website content or product photography don’t matter. They do but the goal is to get things done the best you can, and then improve them as you go along.

5. Get help where you’re falling short

If you find you’re spending more time learning how to write content for your website or how to properly optimise it for search engines, you might consider outsourcing some tasks to professionals.

It’ll not only save you time so you can focus on more important tasks, but you’ll also get quality work if you manage to hire professionals with the right skills. Read this post to learn more about the tasks you can outsource when you’re short on time and skills. You’ll also find some recommendations on where to find professionals to help you out, and what tools to use to get the help you need.

Now, if you don’t mind partnering with your life partner, a friend or family member, you can also reach out and have them help out with some of your business tasks. Find out if they’d want to be involved and help with design, writing, or photography tasks for your new business website.

6. Make use of your weekend and holiday time (if you can)

If you’re committed to make your side business a success, consider using your weekends and days off to work on your business. That doesn’t mean you can’t set days aside for rest and relaxation. You can and you should! Just make sure that you take advantage of some of your days off, be it weekend or vacation days, to focus on your business.

Why? Because days off allow you to focus all your energy on your side business for longer hours than you typically would during a workday. This helps you get a lot of work done, getting you much closer to your dream of becoming a business owner.

Sure, it can be hard to use your weekend efficiently. So, to get started, use one day to work on your side business, and the second to do chores, spend time with family, and relax.

If that’s not possible, consider asking your employer to reduce your working week by a day. That way, you’ll free up extra time to work on your own projects.

Wrapping up

It’s not easy to find time to start a side business when you’re already working eight hours a day at your day job. If you’re also a parent, that makes it much harder. The solution is not to sleep less or sacrifice time with family but to cut back on activities that are wasting your time and instead, invest that valuable time into becoming a successful business owner. Good luck!